The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation

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7. After the Magna Carta

  • A New History of Taxation
September 6, 2004

Tags Legal SystemTaxes and SpendingWorld History

Does liberty sow the seeds of its own destruction? Yes, by consenting to excessive taxes. Government will not want to give up the power. Taxes were to be only for common defense, not offensive wars.

The Writ of Assistance is important in American history because the threat of its use caused the founding fathers to place the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights.

The Sugar Act treated every trader as a cheat. The Stamp Act drained money from the colonists and united them against Britain. The Boston Tea Party was not about taxes on tea. The protest was over American fears that a monopoly might be granted for tea. Throwing tea into the harbor was wanton destruction of private property.

The Articles of Confederation forbade congress from taxing. Rather than amending the Articles, The Constitution was then drafted to give government the power to tax. Theoretically, powers of the federal government were limited to a finite number. It took until 1830 for Americans to pay off the Revolutionary war debts. Hamilton put a tax on whiskey. That was an excise. The Whiskey Boys revolted against it. Then a land tax was attempted. The Fries Rebellion resulted.

Lecture 7 of 10 from Charles Adams' The Rosetta Stone to the US Code: A New History of Taxation.

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